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Showing posts from February, 2019

What is ParajOS

I am building my operating system. During the day, we are bombarded with information. While chatting with colleagues and friends, listening to podcasts, endlessly scrolling Twitter and Instagram, and sometimes even by ourselves in the shower. This information and the thoughts that accompany it can be extremely valuable. They are like little jigsaw pieces to help us piece together our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. At the same time, they are valuable snippets that can potentially unlock rare insights. Thus, I set out to build ParajOS as an extension of my brain to create a tech-enabled mind palace. My goal is to create an organized repository of information. I want to be able to readily access and reference interesting bits of information, statistics, facts, anecdotes, and insights to develop my thinking and learn more about myself and the world around me. I want it to be a self-contained 'operating system' that draws a logical line between stimulus (infor…

The Autonomous Last Mile Delivery Hunger Games

Today, Fedex announced their same-day delivery robot which signals another major player throwing their hat into the 'autonomous delivery bot' ring - following in the footsteps of Amazon Scout, Softbank-backed Nuro, Marble, Kiwi, and others.
Recently, I have been researching and thinking about this space where it seems like technological differentiation is minimal. It is essentially an AI driven 'service' where other than load-bearing specifications and radius of service, the bots can only be differentiated on their looks.
According to this McKinsey Report (which every single robodelivery company cites), autonomous delivery robots/vehicles (what do we classify them as?) will be responsible for 80% of all last mile deliveries. This is mostly driven by this basic business objective - reducing cost.
Last mile delivery is the biggest cost driver in the delivery landscape. Because of economies of scale, it is cheaper to ship bulk items from a centralized location/warehouse t…

Let Your Customers Cancel Their Subscription Easily

"Hi, I have moved to a different state and just wanted to cancel my gym membership"

"Okay, can you come in tomorrow?"

"Um, like I said, I have already moved so I cannot come in, which is why I want to cancel my membership"

"Oh - well the only way to cancel it is to come in person. Can you come in this week?"

"What?"

"Maybe you can write us a letter and send it in the mail so we can cancel your membership"

"Can't you do it over the phone or over email? Why do I have to send you a letter - that sounds ridiculous"

"We are only authorized to cancel your subscription if you are here in person or a signed letter in the mail"

"Wait so I signed up and paid for my membership all online easily, but I need to come in person and handwrite a letter to cancel? "🤔🤔🤔

This is a real conversation I had with my gym back in California. I had a no-contract month-to-month membership which has now become incred…

Starting a Build-To-Buy Company

Recently, I came across an interesting new type of company formation - a 'build-to-buy' joint venture.

Essentially, this means an entrepreneur puts together a team to build a product or a service in collaboration with another (usually well-established) business entity. This is structured in the form of a joint venture.

According to Investopedia, "A joint venture (JV) is a business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity. This venture is its own entity and separate from the participants' other business interests.
For example, let's say I want to develop new eye-tracking technology that allows users to control their Macbook with their eyes. I would pitch this concept as a 'build-to-buy' joint venture to Apple. Apple would own some percentage of the joint venture (usually >=50%), and make a cash + in-kind + brand inv…

Breathless Writing

Inspired by Jordan Gonen,and my desire to build new relationships, start new conversations, and develop my thinking, I am going to officially make a commitment to write a blog post every single day.

I have found, that often I am overly critical of my writing (all those nights editing essays in college to get an A) and have trouble finding my voice. I have always thrived in writing character-driven pieces from other people's voices which has made my post-college writing harder to execute.

I am really excited about this challenge and hope to not only find my voice in writing, but also start some interesting conversations and learn along the way.

Here's to discovering something interesting together!

What Founders Should Learn from the Fyre Festival

I recently watched the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix and left with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. The documentary is riveting and has something for everyone - shock, drama, emotion, financial fraud, supermodels, and Ja Rule. Most importantly, it was chock full of learnings for early stage entrepreneurs.

Fyre Festival was a massive trainwreck of a "luxury music festival" started by Billy McFarland and rapper Ja Rule. Propped up by massive influencers like Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski, the festival failed to deliver even basic amenities such as housing and food on the day of the event. Currently, the organizers are the subject of atleast eight major lawsuits for fraud.

What can founders learn from this failed entertainment startup (other than DO NOT COMMIT FRAUD)?



The power of influencer marketing

Fyre Festival's popularity was built on top of a massive influencer marketing campaign. Top supermodels were paid top dollar to post cryptic photos …

The Problem With Ideas and How to Solve It

As I sit at home suffering through my second day of the flu, I find my mind oscillating between Breaking Bad (watching for the first time!), Lakers trade rumors, and side project ideas.

Today, I counted ~37 unique ideas for side projects, companies, and products. Now, here is the problem with ideas, they are a dime a dozen (maybe even less). While ideation is crucial for innovation, having too many ideas, or overemphasizing ideas can lead to mental paralysis.

Ideation Paralysis When you have too many ideas in your head, you might feel compelled to be 'action-oriented'. You will feel compelled to dive in and start making progress towards one of those ideas. Most likely, you will either pick an idea at random, or pick one which feels the most compelling in the moment.

Now as you start building, more ideas will keep popping in your head. Some of these will be entirely new ideas and others will be ideas on how to implement the idea you are currently working on/thinking about.

This…